League leaders Chelsea face another test of their title credentials on Saturday, 17 December 2017 when they take on Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park, with Antonio Conte’s men looking for their 11th straight win in the top-flight.
But they now take on a Palace side desperate for points after the Eagles suffered a last-gasp loss to Manchester United on Wednesday, which keeps Alan Pardew’s side hovering just above the relegation zone.
Pardew has several players out of action this weekend, with James Tomkins (groin), Bakary Sako (muscle), Connor Wickham (knee), Loic Remy (calf), Steve Mandanda (knee), Jonathan Benteke (knee) and Pape Souare (broken leg) all sidelined.
Meanwhile, Eden Hazard remains a doubt for Chelsea ahead of the trip to Selhurst Park after being left out of Conte’s squad for the Sunderland game with a knock he sustained against West Brom at the weekend.
With Cesc Fabregas having scored the only goal against the Black Cats on Wednesday, the Spaniard is likely to be handed another start in midfield at the expense of Nemanja Matic.
Meanwhile, on Sunday 18 December, Arsenal will travel to Etihad stadium wher they will be played host to by Manchester City.
Arsenal’s impressive 14-game unbeaten run in the Premier League came to an end on Tuesday when Everton beat Arsene Wenger’s side at Goodison Park.
The Gunners hadn’t lost a league game since the opening day of the season against Liverpool but were killed off by the Toffees in a steely 2-1 victory for Ronald Koeman’s men.
Sunday’s mammoth league clash against Manchester City represents another tough domestic encounter in which Wenger faces a managerial opponent whom he has an indifferent record against.
Wenger will want his side to get back on track with a win at the Etihad Stadium, although he faces a difficult test coming up against the likes of Sergio Aguero – City’s top goalscorer with 10 league goals.
Shkodran Mustafi has been ruled out for the rest of the year with a hamstring injury, joining fellow defender Mathieu Debuchy on the sidelines.
German defender Mustafi has been unbeaten in defence since joining the club and his absence could cost the Gunners over a key Christmas period, as their defeat to Everton showed.
Aaron Ramsey faces a late fitness after suffering another hamstring injury.
Wenger could ring the changes for this one but it’s more than likely that he’ll stick with Alexis Sanchez through the middle.
There’s the possiblity of Olivier Giroud, Alex Iwobi and Mohamed Elneny coming in if the Arsenal boss is looking to field a more physically dominant team.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain faces the possiblity of being dropped after an underwhelming performance against Everton in midweek, while Gabriel will continue at centre-back due to Mustafi’s injury.
Manchester City have lost two of their previous five games but Wednesday’s win against Watford will have given them a timely confidence boost ahead of the game with Arsenal.
Guardiola’s men have been given eight red cards in the Premier League against Arsenal; more than they have against any other opponent and he’ll be desperate of seeing no repeat scenes of the recent game with Chelsea which saw City incur a £35,000 fine.